Purpose: The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Emergency Medical Services is designed to prepare students to be confident and competent entry-level emergency medical services providers wither in a volunteer and/or career department/agency and/or facility that provides emergency medical services. The curriculum is designed to develop the competencies needed to prepare the student to be certified as a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician and/or Paramedic. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the National Registry written and practical certification exam appropriate for their level of program completion (EMT or Paramedic). As a certified EMS provider, under the direction of an operational medical director, graduates can then function as Basic and/or Advanced Life Support providers with a rescue squad, either in a volunteer or career capacity; fire and rescue department; emergency department; ambulance transport entity; local, state or federal government agency; ski patrol; humanitarian relief organization; or other EMS-related role.
Admission Requirements: This program includes the following requirements beyond admission to the College: acceptable criminal background check and acceptable drug screen through the duration of the program, acceptable results of a medical physical and required immunizations. Students must meet the requirements of the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services to gain and maintain enrollment in EMS program(s).
Academic Requirements: Students must complete each course with a grade of “C” or better in order to continue in the EMS sequence. Should any single grade of “D” or “F” be received, that course must be repeated before continuing in the EMS course sequence. Should a student receive two such grades, he/she will be removed for one year, and strongly encouraged to join a volunteer EMS rescue squad or get more committed to EMS in some other way. The student may then return to the EMS program, repeat the course in which a “D” or “F” was received and continue, as long as he/she passes the course on the second attempt. Should any course earn a “D” or “F” after a second attempt, the student will be removed permanently from the EMS program and counseled toward another allied health career.
- EMS courses (including BIO 145) must be taken in the sequence outlined within the program of study course sequence, and courses in each semester must be taken as corequisites.
- The EMS program offers all courses in both Fall and Spring Semesters, therefore program cohorts may start virtually year-round.
- A few EMS courses may be offered during the Summer as well, but due to the compressed schedule of the Summer Session, these courses do not constitute the “core” EMS curriculum, as a general rule.
Clinical/Field and Behavioral Requirements: Clinical and internship courses are a critical component in any medical program, but the practice of medicine requires the strictest of safe and appropriate behaviors, when dealing with actual sick and injured patients. Students are required to perform clinical and/or field internships in cooperating healthcare agencies and/or licensed EMS agencies must conform to all clinical and/or field requirements of participating clinical and/or field facilities/agencies. Students are always supervised by trained and certified professionals, and there is zero tolerance for inappropriate and/or unsafe actions or behaviors. Transportation to and from the multiple clinical and internship sites is solely the responsibility of the student. Punctuality and the wearing of appropriate uniforms are program, facility and/or agency requirements. Essential documentation of all patient care is also a critical element of each clinical and internship course, and grades in each course will be strongly based on each of these components.
Physical Requirements: An EMS provider is faced with many physical and psychological challenges. Please refer to the Virginia Office of EMS website for a more detailed functional job description to ensure being well suited for this challenging, yet rewarding pursuit: www.vdh.state.va.us/oems.
Credit for Prior Learning: Students in the Emergency Medical Services program may be eligible to receive credit for prior learning and/or industry certifications in accordance with department policies at no additional costs to their program of study. See an academic advisor or the department head for further information
Employment Requirements: Volunteer opportunities and gainful employment in emergency medical services and/or fire and rescue agencies may have specific medical and/or physical entrance requirements, as well as require an acceptable criminal background check and/or drug screening. Additional requirements may be required prior to entry, requirements vary by agency/facility.
Financial Requirements: In addition to college tuition, fees, and course software and textbooks, the Emergency Medical Services program has additional costs for which students will be responsible. Costs may include, but are not limited to criminal background investigation; drug screening; immunizations including seasonal influenza vaccines; Tuberculosis screening and/or other required immunizations/titers; employment verifications; uniforms; test site, certification and licensure fees; and, successful completion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) [must be American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers] certification (if not already certified). Students are responsible for all costs associated with these requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain current certifications and accurate up-to-date immunizations and records throughout the program. Thomas Nelson Community College uses a third-party vendor, for all criminal background investigation and drug screenings. Criminal background investigation and/or drug screenings will not be accepted unless they are completed through the College’s third-party vendor. Program faculty and/or staff will provide you with all details to purchase this service, including deadlines for completion.
Special Accreditation Status: The Thomas Nelson Community College Paramedic program has been issued a Letter of Review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). This letter is NOT a CAAHEP accreditation status, it is a status signifying that a program seeking initial accreditation has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the accreditation Standards through the Letter of Review Self Study Report (LSSR) and other documentation. Letter of Review is recognized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) for eligibility to take the NREMT’s Paramedic credentialing examination(s). However, it is NOT a guarantee of eventual accreditation.
To contact CoAEMSP:
8301 Lakeview Parkway Suite 111-312
Rowlett, TX 75088
Basic Life Support Accreditation Status: The Thomas Nelson Community College EMS program has been conferred accreditation as a Virginia Basic Life Support (BLS) Education Program (Emergency Medical Technician is classified as a BLS program/certification) by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services in compliance with Virginia Administrative Code 12 VAC 5-31.
To contact The Virginia Office of EMS
Division of Educational Development:
1041 Technology Park Drive
Glen Allen, VA 23059